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Munayco Law, Internet Researcher
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child custody

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I have 2 sons, ages 9 &10. My ex-husband is the custofial parent and my boys are begging to come & live with me. It is my understanding that the Judge can choose to hear the childrens' whishes at age 10 in Texas. I have contacted the court clerk, and was told that I can file the motion and pay the filing fee without an attorney. I need to know what motions to file. I cannot afford the $20,000 retainer my attorney is requesting. In addition, I also realize that at age 12 they have the right to choose which oarent they wish to live primarily. PLEASE, can you help me? Sincerely, Kori
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Munayco Law replied 10 years ago.
Yes, you will need to return to the proper court of jurisdiction and obtain a motion or petition to modify child support and custody. You will use this form to request change in custody. Courts will only grant your modification request if there are "change in circumstances" that would warrant the change in order for the "best interest" of the children. If your ex-husband agrees to the modification, then the process would be easier.

Regarding Child's preference Texas of Family Code says,

RESIDENCE. A child 12 years of age or older may file with the court
in writing the name of the person who is the child's preference to
have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the
child, subject to the approval of the court.

This means a child who is 12 years and older can submit in writing his preference. However, please be aware that the ultimate decision maker is the Court. The court merely takes a child's preference in to consideration. Age for preferences are set and vary among the states because a young child is typically not considered to be "legally competent" to make adult decisions and most courts disfavor having children decide between the parents. However, with that said your children should not detered from making themselves heard.

Again, the motion or petition for modification form should be available at the court where your family case was heard. Most family courts also provide self-help service or free legal services for the public. If for some reason, the forms are not available most bookstores have legal selfhelp books and the subject of custody and show you how to draft one. Again, not difficult to do and you do not need an attorney, although if the ex were to disagree and make things difficult for you, then an attorney would be highly advisable.

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